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Erasmus+ 2021-2027: new opportunities and challenges.

The conference “Erasmus+: bilan & perspectives” took place digitally on 14/01/2021. The main topics were wrapping up the 2014-2020 Erasmus+ results and presenting the new 2021-2027 challenges.

Many high-level participants spoke in the 8 panels, including national ministers and directors, MEP, and university deans.

Madame Laure Coudret-Laut (director of the Erasmus+ Education Agency of France) mentioned the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Erasmus+ exchanges, but also highlighted how national and European agencies and grassroot organisations were able to step up to this challenge. By enhancing digital coordination mechanisms and exchanges of information, slimming the application and selection procedures, and shifting towards online education methods, the entire Erasmus+ community has ensured the continuity of exchange programmes.

Monsieur Mathieu Roumegous (director of the Erasmus+ Youth and Sport Agency of France) confirmed this, noting that numerous applications have been received throughout 2020 despite the difficulties and limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This shows how well the Erasmus+ programme has adapted to the limitations posed by the pandemic, and how eager youth are to take part in these projects and how important they are to them.

MEP Madame Laurence Farreng, member of the Culture and Education committee, explained the thorough work that has happened behind the scenes in the European Parliament to ensure that  Green clauses are included in the new Erasmus+ structure, meaning that the selection process will favour environmentally sustainable projects. Madame Farreng also mentioned how MEPs have pushed for the EP to have a stronger advisory role, which will now be consulted on all matters regarding the Erasmus+ programme and any proposed modification.

Madame Thémis Christophidou, director of the Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Committee at the European Commission, explained how the €25 bln that will be allocated to the new programme will further increase its inclusivity, by increasing the number of scholarships and funding schemes, and encourage the Green and Digital transitions.

Monsieur Bernard Beignier, dean of the Academy of Aix-Marseille, focused on the importance of the skills that can be acquired through Erasmus+ education and professional training exchanges. These expanded competences will be crucial in “re-launching” the EU from the setbacks of the pandemic. Indeed, the 2021-2027 Erasmus+ programme will further enhance its adult education programmes, particularly teachers.

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